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At New Orleans, Drew Brees passed for 313 yards and four touchdowns and the Saints regained sole possession of first place in the NFC South. They snapped the Panthers’ winning streak at eight games.

The Panthers’ defense had not allowed more than two touchdowns in a game this season until the Saints scored three in the second quarter alone, when Brees completed 14 of 16 passes for 159 yards.

The Saints also became the only team this season to score more than 24 points against Carolina (9-4), which entered the game No. 1 in scoring defense, allowing 13.1 points per game.

Marques Colston had nine catches for 125 yards and Jimmy Graham added two TD catches.



At Cincinnati, the Colts (8-5) backed into the AFC South crown when the Titans fell.

Andy Dalton threw for three touchdowns and ran for another as the Bengals remained perfect at home and in control of the AFC North. The Bengals (9-4) improved to 6-0 at Paul Brown Stadium on a cold, windy day: 28 degrees at kickoff with a wind chill of 19 and light flurries.



At San Francisco, Phil Dawson kicked a 22-yard field goal with 26 seconds remaining, denying Seattle (11-2) a chance to clinch the NFC West.

Frank Gore broke a 51-yard gain with just more than four minutes left to set up the go-ahead 11-play, 76-yard drive as the 49ers (9-4) improved their playoff chances.

Dawson’s fourth field goal of the day gave him 20 straight converted field goals, a franchise record topping Joe Nedney’s 18 consecutive in 2006-07.

Story Continues →